Salsa has revealed a new aluminium gravel frameset called Stormchaser that's "designed for the days when dirt turns to derailleur-breaking, ride-ending mud" – which makes us think that it'll be suitable for UK conditions, especially those we've been experiencing lately. You can run it singlespeed or with a 1x geared drivetrain.
For fans of bullet points, here are some bullet points in Salsa's own words:
• Stable geometry that excels in sloppy conditions.
• Singlespeed drivetrain (compatible with a 1x geared drivetrain).
• Massive mud clearance on frame and fork.
• Thoughtful details for long rides in all conditions.
• The perfect wet-weather counterpart to Salsa's Warbird. https://road.cc/content/tech-news/248518-salsa-warbird-v4-launched-now-t...
The Stormchaser's frame is made from 6066-T6 aluminium alloy and, like the carbon-fibreWarbird, it features Salsa's Class 5 Vibration Reduction System. What does that mean?
"It has specially shaped seatstays with a tall, thin, vertically-orientated profile that promotes vertical compliance by allowing the seatstays to flex outwards on impacts," according to Salsa.
"The horizontally-orientated chainstays work to resist torque and maintain a laterally stiff rear end. The seatstays and chainstays lack bridges, furthering the full length of the stays to contribute to flexibility."
The frame comes with internal cable routing and a 12 x 142mm rear spacing. It's compatible with a dropper seatpost and is available in seven sizes from 49cm to 61cm. The 56-61cm frames have three bottle cage mounts in the main triangle, while the 49-54.5cm frames have two.
There's an accessory mount on the underside of the down tube and mounts for fitting a bag to the top tube. You also get mudguard mounts and you can fit a Salsa Wanderlust rear rack using Salsa's Rack Lock system. https://road.cc/content/review/83283-salsa-rack-lock-seat-collar
The flat mount dropouts are adjustable, allowing you to run the chainstays from 435mm to 450mm.
The frameset includes two different driveside dropouts, one for singlespeed and the other geared dropouts. If you go for 1x, the maximum size chainring you can use is 38-tooth.
The fork is made from high-modulus carbon-fibre with an alloy steerer. Integrated stainless steel abrasion plates are designed to protect it from mud and debris. You get internal brake and dynamo routing and three rack mounts on each fork leg, and the spacing is 12 x 100mm.
The Stormchaser has clearance for tyres up to 50mm wide, or 45mm if you fit mudguards.
Salsa suggests minimum wheel/tyre sizes of 650B x 47mm and 700C x 32mm. The claimed weight is 1,956g for a 56cm frame, fork, axles, headset and seatpost collar.
The Stormchaser frameset has an SRP of £1,200 and stock is expected by mid-April 2020.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.